Centre College’s Isabella La Rocca González, assistant professor of studio art, has curated a photography show in the Jones Visual Arts Center (JVAC) that is also included in the Louisville Photography Biennial. González and three environmentally active and aware photographers are featured. The exhibit called “Gaia Weeps” will run through Nov. 30. An opening reception and gallery talk with photographers González and Kay Westhues will take place on Saturday, Nov. 16, from 6-8 p.m.
The Louisville Photo Biennial takes place throughout Louisville Metro and its surrounding communities. Their photography exhibitions—spanning traditional to contemporary, local to global—are displayed at museums, galleries, universities and cultural institutions. The Biennial also presents accompanying workshops, public lectures and panel discussions to stimulate learning and reinforce visual literacy. Since photography is the most widespread art form, the exhibit’s goal is to educate via meaningful dialogue to help bridge understanding of the diverse world through this dynamic medium.
“Since 1999, the Biennial has been a marvelous effort that delights, educates and builds community,” González said. “As a photographer, I am delighted that this exhibition is included in the Louisville Photography Biennial.”
The Greek word Gaia, used in the show’s title, denotes the female deity of earth and also refers to the idea that the living and nonliving components of earth function as a single system.
The photo exhibit features color photographs, mostly landscapes, with varied approaches taken by each artist.
Kay Westhue’s “Well Stories” project examines publicly accessed artesian wells in Indiana and surrounding states and reminds us of our dependence on the earth. Carolyn Monastra’s “The Witness Tree” project chronicles the effects of climate change around the world. González’ series “CENSORED LANSCAPES” documents sites of animal agriculture, a leading cause of climate change, deforestation, ocean acidification, habitat destruction, loss of biodiversity, and mass species extinction. Federica Armstrong’s “In Plain Sight” is an exploration of the 23 Superfund Sites whose contamination dates back to 1960s-1970s manufacturing in Silicon Valley. The intimate beauty of the photographs in this exhibition exposes the sad truth of our current environmental crisis.
“The idea for the exhibition is strongly influenced by my social justice activism,” González said. “I have been deeply concerned about the state of our ecology for as long as I can remember. I’ve also been strongly influenced by the feminist movement, most particularly ecofeminism and intersectionality. I’ve been an artist and photographer since I was young, and I travel frequently to conferences and portfolio reviews where I see so much excellent work. This exhibition has been an opportunity to showcase some of the recent work I’ve seen related to this issue.”
IF YOU GO
Opening reception and gallery talk with Isabella La Rocca González and Kay Westhues
Saturday, Nov. 16
Jones Visual Arts Center
by Kerry Steinhofer
November 14, 2019
Header image: Night of the Supermoon Dairy Farm – 550 Cows, 2015 from the series CENSORED LANDSCAPES. Photo by Isabella La Rocca González.